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Fergie: O’Shea Epitomises United’s Approach

After John O’Shea’s four year deal with Sunderland was announced, Sir Alex Ferguson has sung his praises, claiming that allowing him more game time was the reason for him leaving.

“John has been an outstanding servant to the club, since he broke into the first team almost a decade ago,” Sir Alex told the official site. “His versatility, calmness under pressure and his commitment to the cause at United means that fans will remember him with great affection. John has won so many medals – and has deserved every one of them. He epitomises our club’s approach as a team. After so many years of service to United, I’m pleased that John has found a career opportunity which will deliver the number of games he deserves. We wish John every success in his new life. Steve Bruce is a manager that knows how to blend youth and experience and I’m sure he has John earmarked for a senior role in trying to take Sunderland on from their finish last season.”

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. Costas says:

    So why is he sold? Ah never mind.

  2. orez says:

    O’Shea signed for sunderland just saw it on ESPN. Great servent for the cause and I wish him luck.

  3. jasonpark says:

    Not another one

  4. Costas says:

    Rumored transfer fee was 4 million.

  5. smartalex says:

    Thanks for everything John! You are loved and respected, and will be sorely missed.
    Your mischievous grin and hearty celebrations have always cheered me throughout your time at United. Very best of luck at Sunderland. Bring your winning ways to Stealth United!

  6. Jesmonta says:

    Thanks John and Wes. It was now or never.

  7. keano99 says:

    When jonny goes marching down the wing. Thanks for everything mate

  8. Warwick says:

    Just loved O’Shea from the moment when (can’t remember which game) the goalie had been subbed and second one sent off, and we needed a replacement from the pitch – to face a penalty too. And there was John. quick as a flash, saying, “I’ll do it”. Just loved that spirit and made me be able to forgive any future ‘lapses’ or mistakes or clumsy fouls. Best of luck to the lad!

  9. willierednut says:

    44 million? Fucking mint! :lol:

    Cheers big John. You scored against the vermin. We give you thanks for that.

  10. Zelh says:

    good luck O’shea.
    thanks for nutmegging Figo, chipping the ball into the net in the library to make it 4-2 and of course the goal in front of the kop.

    now the youth has to step up.

  11. fergie is the boss says:

    Costas – The boss must think the da silva twins are now physically ready to take the heavy hits of the premiership. But for me it will always be a strange one, why oshea is moved on and the likes of owen the boss decided to keep, especially has the boss seems to be keeping berbatov. But I always saw oshea, a player who is more crucial than someone like micheal owen, yes they are different positions but you get where I was going with that

  12. fergie is the boss says:

    watching skysports, it still makes me laugh how redknapp is making out spurs are a championship winning outfit, has for modric yea a move to chelsea these days will improve his career, when they are such an ageing side. No question united are the side to go to, to win championships

  13. Devil310 says:

    Today is indeed a sad day for UNITED…..but we always look ahead, never back!

    Smalling and Jones, the new Sheasy and Brown

  14. DeanStrauss says:

    Redknapp on Sky:
    O’Shea’s a fantastic player and Steve Bruce has a top signing. You know, I tried to sign him myself!

  15. utdforever says:

    Cheers John for the memories.. great player.. good luck mate.

  16. CedarsDevil says:

    Sad day but good luck to both Wes and JOS, both home grown and United through and through….

    Was always a big fan of JOS, nothing flashy yet always did a good job when needed and as most have mentioned we will never forget that last minute winner at Anfield and of course the brilliant goal celebration at Highbury

    Sunderland = United B team

  17. Lexxy says:

    Adios Sheasy and Wesley. We wil always remember that goal in front of the kop

  18. wayne says:

    all bruce needs to do now is get a few lads on loan and it’ll be utd

  19. FletchTHEMAN says:


  20. WHAT ??? says:

    Its all about his performance in goal against Spurs, that match sums up his career at United.
    Cheers for the years Johnny! But don’t go marching down our Wing will ya???

  21. mahadev says:

    will always remember that moment when scholesy scored a hand ball goal vs zenit st petersburg i think it was and everyone knew it was hand ball except big John who started celebrating :
    makes me lol still :D

  22. RedDevilEddy says:

    Gonna miss the lad! :(

    @Warwick – You’re talking about Rio mate. What John did was going in goal for Edwin when he broke his nose against Spurs, and made a great save against YSB Keane

  23. Costas says:

    Interesting comment by Harry. Of course he is full of crap 9 times out of 10, but it did make me wonder if we even bothered listening to offers from other clubs about these 2.


    Yeah I get you. It does make you wonder why Owen stayed considering we have 2 youngsters returning from their loan spells and he isn’t younger than Wes and JOS. Plus, we will need Oshea a lot more than we will Owen imo. Only explanation I can come up with is that there will be a twist in the Berba situation.

  24. CedarsDevil says:

    Paul Parker

    I think both players will have mysterious injuries whenever we play Sunderland !

  25. smartalex says:

    Are we going to see a young fast team with mobility and multi-skills a key ingredient throughout the team? Where players are less bound by their position.

  26. CedarsDevil says:


    Interesting point indeed….. Hope you are well my friend

  27. WHAT ??? says:

    @Cedars, Yep, and they better repeat the Black Cats’ 3-0 over Chelsea last season as well.

  28. smartalex says:

    I am very well CedarsDevil, thank you! And how are you doing, my friend?

    Sad times indeed. Happy times too! We are blessed with the one constant that really matters.

    Sir Alex Ferguson.

  29. CedarsDevil says:


    Well said, I cannot even contemplate thinking about the day when the GREAT man calls it a day

  30. mosey-GH233 says:

    Love you O’Shea. hope you find a true home in the stadium of ligth. As a g-keeper against Spurs n your contribution in knocking them out of their pearch. we will missyou.

  31. Sparkz says:

    The nutmeg vs Madrid…the chip vs Arsenal…the winner vs Liverpool….the goal vs Arsenal in the Champions League semis. Not to mention all the times he’s stepped in wherever and whenever, and done the job he’s been asked. Quality servant, no question about it. Gutted to see him go, and I genuinely think we’ve undersold him, don’t think it’s a fair price.

    From our point of view, I don’t think it’ll have an adverse effect. I expect the twins to improve physically, and Fergie must as well otherwise he wouldn’t have sold Wes and JOS. They should get through games much better now.

    Evra’s there of course. Smalling can play RB, and would probably do a better job than O Shea IMO.And Evans will probably be an O Shea type full back- solid defensively, not that great going forward.

    I make that 3 guys who can play RB, and 3 guys who can play LB. That’s without taking into account Jones who I’ve heard can play full back.

  32. Balaji Sivaraman says:

    @Sparks, Nice post mate. But as me and Costas have been arguing from the morning, that still doesn’t account for injuries and Carling Cup games. IF Rio and the Twins can stay injury-free for the entire season, well and good, but if not, we’re still looking at a few holes here and there. O’Shea was the best person to fill leaks with in probably the entire league. I assume Evans will be taking over that role but that still leaves us at least one fullback short. I don’t know about the youth setup as far as defenders go, so we may something lined up. Of course, I am sure Sir Alex has got something in the pipeline, meticulous planner that he is. I am just surprised that is all.

    @Cedars, Don’t even think about it mate. NEVER EVER. I get nightmares of that day all too often. I’ve stopped worrying about it too often. If I start doing that, I am going to feel like I am almost your age and I am only half of that. :lol:

  33. CedarsDevil says:


    Nice to know you are only 12 then! :mrgreen:

  34. Costas says:


    Exactly. Lets look at one scenario that’s not far fetched. Rio is down with another injury, as are the twins. What will our defence look like? Smalling can’t play at RB, because he has to fill in for Rio. Who plays on the right then? Valencia or Fletcher? That would sacrifice what they offer in their natural position. Evans or Jones? Have they ever played there? So we will have no option, but to play Smalling at RB, even though we should be grooming him to take over from Rio imo. That’s where a guy like JOS solved so many headaches or us. Plus, he was actually a pretty good full back. Better than Smalling or Evans right now imo.

  35. The team that wouldn't die says:

    Sad to see John O’Shea go.
    Maby we need to be less selfish? He’s earned the right to play every game. I don’t blame SAF for letting him go on the cheap. His contribution over the years have been ever present and with a true red heart.
    I still don’t get why Jenas was voted Young player of the year in 2003. John O’shea was best by a mile!

    Off topic: City are naming the Council house after the Abu Dhabai airline. Don’t remeber the name. Will give them £100m if Platini don’t stop them. Hope we never get there. Selling your stadium name is like changing your last name when you marry a girl…

  36. Warwick says:

    REally sad to see him go. He was prepared to do whatever was needed Not exactly the most skilled player, but his spirit for the team was immense

  37. Sheasy Baby says:

    thanks for everything johno’ best of luck mate

  38. napstar says:

    really gutted 2 c O’Shea go

  39. napstar says:

    @Devil310 well said!!

  40. bobkoh says:

    The sale of Brown/O’Shea must be to fund purchases that are to come. Best of luck to them both, I hope they don’t play well against us when we visit.

  41. T4M says:

    Goodbye Sheasy!

  42. catotraa says:

    Shit.. did you know guys, that since RedNev retiered this season, and with all the players that have left with him, we’ve lost 2299 games of experience?

    Paul Scholes, 676. Gary Neville, 602. John O’Shea, 393. Wes Brown, 362. Edwin van der Sar, 266.
    2299 games! (And that is not counting Bebe, who played a couple of times)

    Now I’m absolutely horrified for next season! What the fuck Sir Alex?

  43. catotraa says:

    Lol, didn’t mean “with him”, but players that have left us between then and now.

  44. Jerald Justin says:

    With O Shea and Brown gone, I guess Evans will be cover for the Left Back position and Smalling for right back. I know they’re CBs by trade but at some points last season they both played as fullbacks and did quite decent work

  45. Rai says:

    Morning reds. Don’t know about you Willie but I’ve got a stinking hangover!! Cedars – Apologies mate, I stooped pretty low.

    On topic – With Tunni going on loan, and losing a lot of experienced heads..another signing or two wouldn’t surprise me. Best of luck Sheasey, thanks for everything. We’ll still be singing yours and Wes’ songs for years to come.

  46. Sparkz says:

    @ Balaji & Cedars- I hear what you’re saying, but you can plan these “worst case scenarios” out for any position on the pitch tbh. There’s always that risk, you’re never gonna have an unlimited amount of players in defence, midfield or attack! In an ideal world you’d have about 5 keepers as well, coz it just takes a couple of injuries, and we’re potentially looking at Amos in goal!

    Extreme example I know, but my point is, you can never completely cover every position.

    If, in that scenario you mentioned- the twins and Rio are all out….Smalling will probably take CB, and Jones will take RB. Or vice versa. Not ideal I suppose, but I do think 8 out and out defenders is sufficient (he may even be looking to promote someone from the reserves.)


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